According to recent analysis from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), nearly one-fifth of U.S. metro areas lost construction jobs between September 2020 and September 2021. AGC pointed to the delays in infrastructure legislations, delays in receiving construction materials and the increase in the cost of these materials when they are received.
“Many metro areas are having a hard time getting back to construction employment levels from last fall that were already low because of the pandemic,” said AGC’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson. “The challenge is that the economic recovery for the construction industry is being undermined by Washington’s failure to boost infrastructure investments and continuing supply chain disfunction.”
Breaking Down the Declines
Sixty-seven out of 358 metros studied saw declines in construction employment year-over-year.
Metros with the Most Lost Jobs
- -6,000 jobs: Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York (8% drop)
- -5,500 jobs: New York City (4% drop)
- -3,100 jobs: New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana (12% drop)
- -3,100 jobs: Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s, Maryland (9% drop)
- -2,400 jobs: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland (3% drop)
Metros with the Largest Percentage Declines
- -18% drop: Evansville, Indiana-Kentucky (-1,800 jobs)
- -10% drop: Fairbanks, Alaska (-300 jobs)
- -10% drop: Knoxville, Tennessee (-1,800 jobs)
- -9% drop: Gadsden, Alabama (-100 jobs)
- -9% drop: Calvert-Charles-Prince George’s, Maryland (-300 jobs)
- -9% drop: Victoria, Texas (-300 jobs)
Despite these drops, construction employment increased in 258 out of 358 metro areas studied in the last 12 months.
Metros with the Most Jobs Gains
- +9,000 jobs: Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California (13% jump)
- +7,800 jobs: Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington (8% jump)
- +7,600 jobs: San Diego-Carlsbad, California (9% jump)
- +6,700 jobs: Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Illinois (5% jump)
- +6,700 jobs: Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts (9% jump)
Metros with the Largest Percentage Increases
- +20% jump: Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (+3,300 jobs)
- +19% jump: Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona (+600 jobs)
- +17% jump: Waterbury, Connecticut (+500 jobs)
- +15% jump: Albuquerque, New Mexico (+3,700 jobs)
- +15% jump: Fargo, North Dakota (+1,400 jobs)
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